Martin Keown: Arsenal have discovered the ‘new Serge Gnabry’
Arsenal legend Martin Keown believes his former club have signed a player comparable to Serge Gnabry in summer acquisition Marquinhos.
The 19-year-old Paulistano joined the Gunners from boyhood club Sao Paulo in mid-June and made his debut in the Europa League on Thursday night, with Mikel Arteta starting him in the 2-1 win over Group A opponents FC Zurich.
He showed more than a few flashes of quality on the flank as he had a hand in both of Arsenal’s goals; first breaking the deadlock and opening his account on the quarter-of-an-hour mark, before setting up Eddie Nketiah’s match-winning header after the hosts restored parity through Mirlind Kryeziu.
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The teenager’s heavy involvement and promising start to life will only enhance the praise currently being levelled at Arteta and technical director Edu, after the club made a strong impression in the summer transfer window with the signings of Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Fabio Vieira.
In fact, Marquinhos’ Arsenal bow left such an mark that Keown even believes the club have stumbled upon a player comparable to a certain Gnabry, who spent his formative years at the Emirates before going on to become a global superstar in his native Germany.
Speaking after the match on BT Sport, Keown said of Marquinhos: “He’s got a huge future ahead of him. He looked a bit like a [Serge] Gnabry-type player. He’s short, stocky, explosive pace. He looked very classy.
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“He picked and chose his moments cleverly, whipped a couple of crosses in. Really good quality. He kept on producing. I think it’s great news. We’ve seen [Bukayo] Saka, we’ve seen [Emile] Smith Rowe in this very competition start their careers. I think we’re seeing another star here in the making.”
Gnabry joined Arsenal as a 16-year-old from Stuttgart in 2011 and went on to feature 18 times in all competitions for the club, but a serious knee injury, combined with the difficulty of breaking into an elite Premier League side, meant that the 27-year-old ultimately left in search of more consistent playing time.
He joined Werder Bremen and scored 11 Bundesliga goals in his maiden campaign in 2016/17, which prompted Bayern to bring him to the Allianz Arena that summer, where he has gone on to establish himself as a world-class international forward.